Big target for charity bike ride
The organisers of the Central South Island Charity Bike Ride say next year's event could be the biggest yet.
On Saturday's registration day at Caroline Bay, all 200 spots for the 10th annual ride were filled up within three hours, and there is already a waiting list of nearly a dozen people.
Co-ordinator Phil Laurie said the results were outstanding.
"Every year, the event goes from strength to strength," he said.
"I never expected it would get this big, the waiting list is growing,"
The ride is completed in three legs - from Timaru to Kurow, Kurow to Tekapo, and Tekapo to Timaru, a total distance of about 350km.
"There will be a real mix of abilities, from younger and more competitive cyclists, for those who are in their 60s and 70s, but still want to be involved," Mr Laurie said.
"They will be riding in groups, it will be a challenge making sure everyone is safe, but it's worked well in the past."
This year's event raised more than $180,000 for charity, but Mr Laurie said the organisers were targeting $1 million for next year's event.
"There are several charities on board this year, Alzheimers' South Canterbury, Hospice and Presbyterian Support Family Works are some of the bigger contributors," Mr Laurie said.
"People are doing all sorts of interesting things this time around [to raise money], some are getting their jersey sponsored, or calling up on business connections to support their efforts."
The idea for the ride came from two Cave residents, Morrell McFetrich and Mr Laurie, who had taken part in the Cancer Ride for Children held annually in Australia. The original plan - which has remained essentially the same over the past nine years - was to hold a three-day ride to raise money for small local charities.
"The vast majority of those who participate in one year come back in the next one. It's got a real community feel," Mr Laurie said.
The 10th annual Central South Island Charity Bike ride will be held from February 20 to 22 next year.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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